Do you want to give your living space an overhaul and improve not only the way it looks, but the way it feels? Instead of a typical redecoration plan or decluttering attempt, consider feng shui instead.
The fine art of feng shui involves creating and maintaining a positive flow with decorative and architectural elements. Without this positive flow, our rooms have an unbalanced sense of energy, which can negatively impact our finances, health, and relationships.
Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy that aims to bring the harmony of the natural world indoors to our homes, offices, and workplaces. It’s based on the concept of Tao (pronounced Dow), which means ‘the way’ or ‘the path.’ Taoism is a spiritual tradition that prioritises living in line with nature, expressing compassion, being humble, and spending frugally to buy only what one needs.
Feng shui is a central part of the Taoist traditional. The two words translate to wind and water, demonstrating the importance of the elements to our living spaces. This ancient Chinese concept originated with a poem about how humans are connected to every aspect of nature.
The winds are mild,
The sun is bright,
The water is clear,
The trees are lush.
The poem points to the importance of the environment to our lives: we need clean air, good temperatures, clean water, and abundant vegetation to truly thrive.
P.K. Odle is the executive director of the American Feng Shui Institute, and she stresses the importance of this artform in every living space. “Just like gravity, feng shui influences exist in natural and man-made environments. Whether you believe it or not, they are already affecting your daily life. All buildings have a unique feng shui energy blueprint from the moment they are built… these repeatable energy combinations have predictable consequences on the lives of the building’s occupants due to prolonged exposure to them.”
Feng Shui includes five key elements: earth, water, fire, wood, and metal.
Earth is stable and balanced; it helps to ground your thoughts and feelings. Bring the earth into your home with crystals, images of nature, plants, and rocks.
Water symbolises infinite wisdom, and can make you feel serene and peaceful. There’s a reason so many people find the sound of trickling water so relaxing! To bring water into your bedroom, add mirrors, glass, water features, and an aquarium filled with fish.
Fire is passionate, bright, and energetic. It will bring a sense of expansion and unpredictability to your bedroom, and add sensuality to your boudoir. Add candles and red décor, and if you are lucky enough to have a working fireplace, make sure you light it!
Wood is evocative of nature’s abundance and vitality – it’s a former tree that brings wisdom and gravitas to any space. Add rustic wood furniture to your space, and woody plants, such as bamboo.
Metal is cool and futuristic; in Taoism, it symbolises intelligence, mental clarity, and logic. Add metal to your space with sculptures, picture frames, and even a metal bedframe.
These five key elements are used in the Bagua map. This map divides your living quarters into nine distinct areas, each based on a different theme or concept. In the centre is the heart, which ‘pumps’ energy to all of the other areas.
Some people calculate their home’s bagua map with a compass to set all of the areas, while others align their front door with the bottom of the map. Use this online calculator to understand how to apply the bagua map to your home.
Here are six simple feng shui tips that you can use for any room in your home.
If you want to invite positive energy into your home, your front door should be attractive and welcoming.
In feng shui, too much clutter and mess can block your energy flow and make your thoughts confused and messy.
Crystals bring the element of earth into your home. Add rose quartz to any room to evoke love and citrine for wealth and wellbeing.
Light and air are crucial aspects to feng shui, and so you should allow it to circulate freely in any room. Throw open your curtains, open the windows, and let positive energy into your space.
Your desk (where you work) and your bed (where you sleep) are two extremely important energetic centres. Facing them towards the entrance reduces your vulnerability and boosts your efficacy.
Every room in your home needs natural elements, such as houseplants. Every room in your home need natural elements, such as a houseplant, to increase purity, energy, and health.
If you only plan to feng shui one room in your home, it should be your bedroom. After all, this is the place where you sleep, rest, and rejuvenate, so it makes sense that it should be balanced and calm.
To begin to apply the principles of feng shui in your bedroom, start by assessing your space and applying the bagua map principles. You also need to remember that every structure already has its own energy channels, like an invisible grid demonstrated above in the bagua map. Your home is already divided into nine energy blocks – now you just have to organise your possessions and furniture within those blocks.
As with any room in the house, you need to kick clutter to the kerb. Even if you’ve rearranged your furniture in line with feng shui principles, clutter and mess interfere with energy.
Exposed beams can interrupt the energy flow in your home. If your bedroom has exposed beams, cover them with textiles, or at the very least, keep your bed, desk, and chairs away from them.
Place the head of your bed against a solid wall. If this isn’t possible, place the head against a wall with a tightly closed window that doesn’t let in a draft. Drafts and wind can disrupt your Qi and prevent you from getting a night of restful sleep. While you want to butt your bed right up against the wall, floor trim can prevent this – push it against the wall as much as possible.
Your headboard should be made from solid wood or an upholstered material. Avoid wrought iron and bars, and stay away from bed frames that include built-in storage – they’re too ‘busy’ to help you get a good night’s rest.
Painting your walls with bright red, yellow, or blue, or in solid black, can arouse problems with the energy in your room. Accessories, bedding, and furniture should all be in softer, more neutral hues and have a simpler design. Think Scandi-cool furniture, a minimalistic angel chair, and warm lighting. If you want to know the best colours for your bedroom, hire a professional feng shui consultant.
A mirror in the bedroom is always a good idea, right? Not so fast! The reflected light in a mirror can cause your room to feel very active, with a lot of ‘yang’ energy. You’ll have a hard time falling asleep until all of that yang settles down and becomes calmer and ‘yin.’
Once you introduce the philosophy of feng shui to your bedroom, you should have a more restful sleep, better luck with money, and more satisfying personal relationships. If you need help re-aligning the energies in your home, get in touch with a feng shui consultant who can help you with the process.
Cho, A. (2014). What is Feng Shui? [online] Anjie Cho. Available at: https://www.anjiecho.com/holistic-spaces-blog/2014/1/20/what-is-feng-shui [Accessed 17 Oct. 2020].
Gordon, M. (2020). The Bagua Map Is The Most Important Tool In Feng Shui. Here’s How To Use It. [online] mindbodygreen. Available at: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-use-a-feng-shui-bagua-map [Accessed 17 Oct. 2020].
In Good Taste (2017). What is Feng Shui? | An Interior Decorating Guide. [online] Invaluable. Available at: https://www.invaluable.com/blog/what-is-feng-shui/#:~:text=Feng%20Shui%20Elements [Accessed 17 Oct. 2020].
Lauren, A. (2019). These Feng Shui Bedroom Tips Might Actually Help You Sleep Better. [online] Real Simple. Available at: https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-bedroom/feng-shui-bedroom-rules [Accessed 17 Oct. 2020].
Tchi, R. (2015). Some Basic Principles of Feng Shui. [online] The Spruce. Available at: https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-feng-shui-1275060 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2020].
Wikipedia Contributors (2019). Taoism. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoism [Accessed 17 Oct. 2020].
Edward is the managing director of Sloane & Sons Stylish Chairs. He is an expert in quality, comfortable upholstered chairs.